Los Angeles' Archbishop Gomez wins the Renault Shocked, Shocked Award
Archbishop Jose Gomez has earned and retired the Shocked, Shocked Award based on the response of Captain Louis Renault, played by Claude Rains in the movie "Casablanca," who, when pressed for his reasons for closing down Rick's Café, says indignantly as he is handed his winnings for the night, that he is "shocked, shocked," to learn that gambling has been going on there.
Gomez uses Renault's tones in a letter relieving his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, of his administrative and public duties, professing to be shocked, shocked, to learn from the court-ordered release of files on priests that sex abuse has been going on in the archdiocese of Los Angeles.
He finds these files, he claims, "to be brutal and painful reading. ... The behavior described ... is terribly sad and evil." He writes further of Mahony's "failure to fully protect young people."
This is the same Mahony he praised when, on succeeding him in March 2011, said, "I am very grateful ... to serve the Church with a mentor and leader like Cardinal Mahony."
Mahony responded with an open letter in which he notes that after Gomez became official archbishop, he was "personally involved with the Compliance Audit of 2012 ... Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sex...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.